Couch to 5K

Post grad runs

Hello everyone!

I hope you are all keeping well and keeping up your new year resolutions.

I am now running past graduation and will happily run 2 to 3 times a week 30 minutes, occasionally stretching to 38-40 minutes to reach 5k.

This is actually the reason of my post: I am not improving very much my speed, so not completing 5k in 30 minutes. I am running on the treadmill now as too cold/dark outside and I work full time. I was running at an average speed of 7.8km per minute and I am now around 8.2km per minute. I have tried the stepping stones but it's wayyyyyy to fast!

Any suggestions?

Many thanks in advance for your input :)


3 Replies

You don't say in your message how long its been since you graduated... but it really does take time to improve your speed or distance.

Many graduates (incl me) have never completed 5k in 30mins so really don't worry about this. I would suggest that you have a variety of runs that include some speed work (shorter distance), longer runs (nice and slow) and perhaps some strength training.

You mention that you are up to 8.2k/hour on the treadmill... this is great, but you would need to up this 10k/hour to get your 5k in 30mins. When you are on the treadmill it might be interesting to try and raise and lower the speed even if its just for a few seconds at a higher speed to get used to the higher leg turnover.

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Have you done all the Stepping Stones podcasts? I would stick with them as they are really good. The variable speeds are good for building leg strength, as is slow running don't forget! You will get faster but not before you get stronger. You have to build up your lung power too. It all takes time of course so stick with it and you'll get there. Slow and steady will get you there. Running uphill is great for building strength so you might tweak your treadmill to a bit of a steeper incline. Not too much. Don't overdo it.

Walking as much as possible too!

Good luck!

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One thing I would keep in mind is the calibration of the treadmill. My treadmill said I was running more slowly than it turned out I was running outside. It's hard to move between treadmill and outdoors running and completely trust the stats are consistent with each other. When you go back outside when the weather's nicer you may find you are running faster (or even perhaps slower) than before.

It sounds like you're doing the right thing at the moment by sticking with the 30 minute runs and pushing for a longer run occasionally. You will gradually get faster as you continue running. I'm currently trying a MyAsics plan to get to 10km. It takes you back to short, slow runs at first (they felt too short and too slow at first!) and then gradually builds up your time as well as distance. I'm noticing my pace is increasing - only by seconds rather than minutes but the movement is in the right direction. It takes time, you'll get there no matter how you decide to take your running forward. :)

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